Mayor Tecklenburg Removed as Elderly Woman’s Conservator
CHARLESTON, SC (CAROLINE BALCHUNAS, WTAT-TV) — For ten years, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg has served as conservator for 93-year-old Jonnie Wineglass.
But on Tuesday, Charleston County probate judge, Irvin Condon, revoked his conservatorship over the mishandling of her funds.
“Mr. Tecklenburg has never sought, never wanted and never will seek compensation from Ms. Wineglass,” argued his attorney during that hearing.
Court records show Tecklenburg took out three loans from Wineglass’ account – totaling $83,000.
Tecklenburg said he did so in the hopes of adding to Wineglass’ diminishing nest egg.
Even though records confirm he paid back all of the loans with interest, state law requires approval for such financial decisions.
“This court cannot start a precedent of allowing conservators who broke the law by self-dealing, make risky investments, who obscure transactions, who disclose publicly private information, who misstate what had transpired, to stay on a conservator,” said Condon. “Accordingly, I’m removing you as conservator and charging you the cost of this action.”
The court’s ruling surprised Tecklenburg.
“I just respectfully disagree with the judge’s conclusion that I shouldn’t remain on,” Tecklenburg said following Tuesday’s proceeding. “I’ve done nothing but look after the best interest of my former neighbor, who I love, and did my best to add to her resources and save her money wherever I could,” he said.
Tecklenburg went on to say, “…after what I read yesterday and the comments from the family, who all supported my loving efforts for over ten years now at no cost. So, now a new conservator will be appointed and will likely charge for those services.”
In May, Condon restricted the Mayor’s powers and appointed two special conservators to review the case.
“The special conservators that he appointed recognized that and recommended that I stay on. The family has recognized that and recommended that I stay on, so once again, I respectfully disagree with his opinion,” he said.
Despite Tuesday’s ruling, the Mayor says this will not change his relationship with the Wineglass family. He says they are former neighbors and long-time friends.
Tecklenburg will not face any charges related to the case other than to pay court fees. He has ten days to appeal the case.